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Reality Unscripted
Seasons of Nursing

I do my best thinking in the shower. I should probably take more. Yesterday I was thinking about a friend who got married over the weekend and the new season of life she's entered. New nurse, new bride, new stress.

Here's the thing about seasons. They come and they go. That's important to remember. Especially the going part. Some feel like the new birth of Spring, and some feel like the death of Winter. Either way, you have to remember to enjoy the good, and keep hoping through the bad. Both will turn into a new season in time.

If you're a student, it may feel like the studying will never end. If you're a new grad, it may feel like you'll never get the hang of this new career. If you've been working for 30 years, it may feel like retirement will never come. Stop waiting. Enjoy what you've got. It will be gone before you know it.

As I remember it, college was the most fun of all the difficult things I've done. Lots of friends, lots of entertainment, lots of ....

Those first hospital jobs scared the crap out of me, but I had more free time and spending money than I've ever had since.

Now I'm 20 some years into a Family Practice career. I can do it with my eyes closed, but every time I go to work, something good happens. A great conversation with a patient or colleague, holding a baby, chatting with an old man who doesn't have anyone to listen to him. I leave loving my job every day. Mostly.

When my first child was born, I was ecstatic but exhausted. I never slept. I thought he would spontaneously combust if I let him cry. He was also a terrible nurser, so he didn't gain weight. That only added to the stress.

When he was about two weeks old, a friend said, "Don't worry, he'll turn a corner when he's six weeks, and it will get much easier." She thought that would encourage me. Instead it made me cry. I was SURE I would not live to see six weeks.

Twelve and a half years out, I can tell you I did survive. I even occasionally tell new moms that their little screamer will turn the corner at six weeks. But I always add how that statement made me feel.

What season of nursing are you in? What do you love about it? What do you not love about it? What advice are you giving about the last season you were in? That's the other thing about seasons. There is always someone else in the last one and the next one.

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4 Responses to “Seasons of Nursing”

  1. Josh W, RN Says:

    WOW! What an “on-target” statement for my (and many other people’s) life right now!

    As I move from my first job as nurse (also where I worked pre-graduation) to another, I too feel like my life is changing from Spring to Summer!


  2. Carl B Says:

    Being a part of the military, I have changed many times in my career. Each one seems like a new beginning that promises a new career. After the military for 20 years, when I retired it was a shock not to change jobs after three years. I feel like I have been working all my career to get to where I am right now. I am teaching in a high school medical program and working part time at hospice. Change can help broaden your knowledge and skills.

  3. Melissa K Says:

    Thank you for this article. After many other articles on this site I was starting to worry that no one ever took time to enjoy what stage of nursing they were going through. I am about to enter my senior year of nursing school and while I am excited to get out into the full time nursing career, I am making it a goal to slow down and enjoy my last year in college. (Don’t worry, I’m going to study myself silly, but I want to enjoy the opportunities to soak in as much as I can from my wonderful teachers.) This site makes it very clear that the first year is challenging and I thank you for putting it into perspective here. It is a season, one to be enjoyed and one that will pass. I’m looking forward to it!

  4. KAMI EMPEY Says:

    I have been working as a new RN on a Med-Surg floor for 6 weeks and it has been very difficult. I was feeling very discouraged but your note on life stages helped to put my frustrations into focus. Life is definitely a season!

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